about
david novak


David has been asking questions and learning from some of the most talented people on the planet for decades. Which is a big reason he became one of the Top 30 CEO’s in the world according to Barron’s Magazine.

David is a New York Times best-selling author and the co-founder of Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut). He was named “2012 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s, one of the “Top People in Business” by FORTUNE and one of the “100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review.

He created a world-renowned recognition culture based on putting people first! Now David is helping others learn how to drives great results by teaching “must-have” leadership skills at davidnovakleadership.com.

Novak’s passion is to make the world a better place by developing leaders at all ages through David Novak Leadership, his family’s Lift-a-Life Foundation, Lead4Change, Global Game Changers and The Novak Leadership Institute at the University of Missouri.

He is also a bestselling leadership book author. His highly respected and critically acclaimed books include The New York Times bestseller Taking People With You: The Only Way to Achieve Big Things, The Education of an Accidental CEO: Lessons Learned from the Trailer Park to the Corner Office and his latest parable, O GREAT ONE! A Little Story About the Awesome Power of Recognition.

Yum! Brands includes KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Yum! Brands employs 1.5 million company employees and franchise associates across its worldwide system. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened over six new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development. During his tenure as CEO, Yum! Brands doubled in size to 41,000 restaurants and established itself as a global powerhouse going from approximately 20 percent of its profits coming from outside the United States in 1997 to nearly 70 percent in 2016, while remaining an industry leader in return on invested capital. In so doing, Yum! Brands’ compound annual shareholder return has been 16 percent and its market capitalization has grown to nearly $32 billion from just over $4 billion. Novak was also the architect of spinning off Yum! China as an independent public company as its largest licensee. In so doing, Yum! Brands is now almost wholly owned and operated by franchisees.